Professional soccer player Zlatan Ibrahimovic has taken to Twitter to claim that EA has been using his name and likeness in FIFA 21 and previous games in the series without his consent. A striker for AC Milan, Ibrahimovic claimed that he never gave the publisher permission, and demanded an investigation. Interestingly enough, Ibrahimovic has appeared in multiple entries in the video game franchise, and participated in an interview with EA as FIFA 17's Player of the Month, back in December of 2017. Presumably, the rights to Ibrahimovic's name and likeness are a part of his contract with AC Milan, but it's impossible to say for certain. For now, the striker seems a bit upset!
The Tweets from Ibrahimovic can be found embedded below.
Somebody is making profit on my name and face without any agreement all these years.— Zlatan Ibrahimović (@Ibra_official) November 23, 2020
Time to investigate
It will be interesting to see whether or not Ibrahimovic has any kind of case, here. Likeness rights for video games have long been part of a player's contract in professional sports. After all, games like FIFA 21 act as strong advertising for the brand, as well as the players themselves. EA's FIFA games are insanely popular around the world, and it's likely that the game has introduced a lot of fans to some of their favorite players, possibly even Ibrahimovic. At the end of the day, there's a great benefit to having those likenesses in the game, and the player does benefit, even if it might not seem that way.
While publishers like EA do have to negotiate contract terms for some retired players, that isn't the case for current players. Otherwise, EA would have to negotiate contracts on a player-by-player basis, and it would likely prove far too costly for the publisher to include names and likenesses!
Presumably, Ibrahimovic's ire is misplaced regarding his likeness rights in the game. It's possible that he has been included in EA's games without his consent, but it seems quite unlikely. For now, soccer fans will simply have to wait and see whether or not EA and FIFA address Ibrahimovic's claims. For now, it seems that the striker's presence in the game will remain as is.
Are you a fan of FIFA 21? Do you enjoy playing as Ibrahimovic? Let us know in the comments or share your thoughts directly on Twitter at @Marcdachamp to talk all things gaming!